Tomorrow, it will be a month since I left Iceland, and I’m still not recovered. I don’t know if I ever will be. How does one recover from love? How does one go back to the invisible chains of a daily routine and real-life job, when all one wants to do is wander free with an infinite supply of money?
After Iceland, perhaps all my senses were heightened. Everything I felt in my heart while there and even after, was felt 4 times more, perhaps. Rough estimate.
I felt alive. I did things that made me feel alive there. While I would have preferred to include a certain someone I love dearly as more than a friend on that trip, it was not to be. But having her there would have made it literally perfect. A place I love with a person I love.
At the beginning of my trip, I wrote a post about grieving lost love, and now I find myself in the same spiral. Grief doesn’t just magically end or go away with time. While time helps, it’s always there. Same love I mourned then, different love I mourn now… what’s the difference, anyway? What do you do when you found your love, but they were not meant for you? In a lasting, real way? A person, a place… How do you move on and assimilate whatever love and learning you can carry with you into your daily life that is meant for you?
The lyrics of a particular Eminem song float through my mind, as they often do, when I’m feeling a bit off. It would be perfect if this song was on his Recovery album, but alas, it’s from his Relapse album.
“Lately I’ve been hard to reach, I’ve been too long on my own
Everybody has a private world where they can be alone
Are you calling me? Are you trying to get through?
Are you reaching out for me, like I’m reaching out for you?
I’m just so fuckin’ depressed, I just can’t seem to get out this slump
If I could just get over this hump
But I need something to pull me out this dump,
I took my bruises, took my lumps
Fell down and I got right back up
But I need that spark to get psyched back up
In order for me to pick the mic back up
I don’t know how or why or when I ended up in this position I’m in
I’m starting to feel distant again
So I decided just to pick this pen
Up and try to make an attempt to vent
But I just can’t admit
Or come to grips with the fact that I may be done with rap
I need a new outlet”
I feel like I need to come to grips with a few things of late, including lost love of a person and a place, but also, like Eminem, that very thing that got him where he is today. Eminem made a name for himself in rap. He earned his fame and began a solid career in rap. Where is he now? He’s working on this and that, but he’s not quite in the limelight as he was during the peak of his career.
I, too, have been contemplating the next chapter of my life. After my sabbatical across Europe, I began looking into next steps for me, and possibly moving on from a company I’ve been working with for the last 11+ years. I know what you’re thinking about 11+ years doing anything – because I’m thinking it too:
Making a new career move has been a long time coming. There was a time when I was passionate about achievement at work, getting promotions and raises, developing staff who worked for me, and getting involved in meaningful projects in diversity and inclusion with my company. That passion has dwindled to the blue shadow of a flame in the work arena.
With depression, a common symptom is loss of interest and pleasure in things that used to be enjoyable, once upon a time. One can withdraw from family and friends, and stop doing those things that used to bring happiness. I’ve lost any interest or pleasure in work, and do not attempt to form the meaningful connections that used to lead to friendships with co-workers outside of work.
On the down low, I’m putting some wheels in motion for more compensation, for ownership in an employer, more benefits, less responsibility, and hopefully, more passion. Trying to sell myself in job interviews has been interesting; I will say that. When asked what experience I have, especially from my 3 years living and working in Australia, I usually jump to this default answer:
Then when they ask me what I’m looking for, this is always a great one. After all, honesty is the best policy:
Finally, when they asked me this golden interview question, I had my answer already prepped:
But I digress.
I would like to quote a recent documentary on the Alaskan wilderness, when I think of the battlefield that is love and recovery, “It’s easy to die up here. Everything else is work.”
So to answer my own question, how does one move on from lost love (and Iceland)? It’s a process of recovery, that’s for sure.
One does the best she can. She looks at aspects of her life she has the power to change, and works to make those better.
She puts one foot in front of the other, and takes steps every day. Even if they’re baby steps, she takes them.
She humbles and embarrasses herself every day, and shows those very feelings she wants to keep hidden most. She both laughs at and kicks herself daily.
She tries not to fade like a flower, and tries to find one little thing every day that makes her happy, however fleeting it may be.
She reaches out to old friends who won’t judge but will support and love her as they always have, just the way she is.
She remembers often and hard, and tries not to lose the joy in the moments with that person or in that place that made her feel most like herself.
She tries to find new happiness, and make new memories, even though it’ll never be the same.
She lets the open wound of her heart heal, and grows strong where the scarred tissue is ugliest. She has patience and doesn’t rush into putting that heart on the chopping block again. She even possibly accepts that some love wasn’t meant for her in this lifetime. Perhaps she has other lessons to learn and shouldn’t be so focused on just that one. She faces the world with gratitude, accepts the lessons meant for her, and accepts those not meant for her as well.
She just keeps going. She gets her ass to the gym, even if it seems futile and hopeless. She finds whatever spark she can to pick the mic back up and not lose touch with reality and herself. When she finds herself alone, lost at sea like Pi, she faces the tigers that come for her at night. She finds a way to survive, and still find beauty in the world.
There is so much, after all, beauty, that is. I echo the thoughts of the deceased Lester Burnham in American Beauty:
“I guess I could be pretty pissed off about what happened to me… but it’s hard to stay mad, when there’s so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I’m seeing it all at once, and it’s too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that’s about to burst… And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can’t feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life… You have no idea what I’m talking about, I’m sure. But don’t worry… you will someday.”